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Canada, 2002 (MIFF 2003, International Panorama)

Director: Guy Maddin

"By turns voluptuous, whimsical and exceedingly strange, Guy Maddin's film suggests that silent film and ballet have always been natural dancing partners. At least they seem that way when folded into each other by a quirky visionary like Maddin, the Canadian filmmaker whose work has acquired a fervent cult following. The film is surprisingly faithful to the 1897 novel which infused an ashen-faced archetype of night-crawling depravity into popular culture.

"Dracula isn't entirely silent or black-and-white. Sound effects and painted dashes of colour have been applied. Blood (which is plentiful) is red and money green.The use of dreamy close-ups, slow motion, silhouette and fog makes dancers appear to be rising from a roiling gorge that enhances the movie's Gothic ambience.

"The director has accentuated the ballet's racial and erotic subtexts with funhouse audacity. Radiating an avid sexual intensity that carries a whiff of sadism, Zhang Wei-Qiang is as charismatic a Dracula as has ever been shown on the screen. A compelling expressionistic work."—New York Times

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